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Worldwide grease production on the rise, reports NLGI

Kansas City, MO -- Worldwide grease production reached 1.9 billion lb (862 million kg) in 2005, an increase of 1.5%...


Kansas City, MO — Worldwide grease production reached 1.9 billion lb (862 million kg) in 2005, an increase of 1.5% from 2004, according to the latest grease production survey from the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI). (The report only includes volumes produced by companies that provided data to NLGI).

Production increases were reported in China, Japan, India and the Americas, while declines were seen in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The worldwide trend toward higher quality greases continues, according to NLGI’s survey. In 2005, more than 73% of all greases manufactured were lithium soap greases, up from 70% in 2002, and polyurea greases rose to almost 5% of total production in 2005.

Total grease production in North America in 2005 was 544 million lb.

In Europe, reported production was 425 million lb, a decline of 4% from 2004.

The annual report is complied for NLGI by Joseph A. Lurz, Jr., of J&A Consultants, Houston, Texas. A total of 146 companies provided data for the 2005 report.

Reported production in the Peoples Republic of China, which probably is significantly underreported, was 297 million lb in 2005. Production of lithium soap greases increased to more than 79% of the total amount for 2005, while calcium greases decreased to 9%.

2005 production in Japan was more than 189 million lb, up 17% from 2004. In India and the Indian subcontinent, production was over 163 million lb, an increase of 8% from 2004.

Report author Lurz said in a footnote he estimated that the nine companies that had reported data for 2002 through 2004 but did not respond to the 2005 survey produced a total of 58 million pounds of grease in 2005, enough to bring the 2005 world total close to 2 billion lb.

Copies of the report can be obtained from NLGI for US$75 (members) or US$150(non-members) at www.nlgi.org.